Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Under hopeless circumstances he hopefully believed.”
“Remember it is the very time for faith to work when sight ceases. The greater the difficulties, the easier for faith; as long as there remain certain natural prospects, faith does not get on even as easily as where natural prospects fail.”
Today’s Study Text:
“Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, ‘Of a truth Thou art the Son of God.’”
Matthew 14: 33
“Worship That Brings Glory to God”
“When Jesus had spoken these things, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify and exalt and honor and magnify Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify and extol and honor and magnify You.”
John 17: 1
What do I believe is the core purpose of my life on earth?
What were some of the specific ways Jesus brought glory to His Father’s name when He was on earth?
In what ways can I glorify my heavenly Father’s name?
“God counts Himself glorified when He is loved.”
“If anything has been accomplished through my life, it has been solely God’s doing, not mine, and He – not I – must get the credit.”
Evangelist Billy Graham
An interesting event occurred when the storm on Galilee subsided. With Jesus in the boat, encircled by His disciples, who had just been first-hand witnesses of the miraculous feeding of at least 15,000 individuals with five loaves of barley bread and two fishes and then seen a treacherous storm stopped immediately while at the same time being close-up spectators to Peter’s deep-sea rescue, some form of response seemed nearly inevitable. And this is where Matthew, who was among the group, relates that “having watched the whole thing, (the disciples) worshipped Jesus, saying, ‘This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!’” (Matthew 14: 33, The Message Bible).
After the day they had all experienced together, I have to ask myself, what would have been the best way to respond? And if I had been among that group, what would my response have been? If I had wanted to express myself by bringing glory to God, how would I actually have reacted?
Many years ago, Puritan author and pastor Thomas Watson, identified four specific ways we can bring glory to God. The four particular actions he highlights are:
To help us better incorporate these actions into our lives, actions which call forth the worshipful glory our Father deserves, I’d like to take a look at each of these individually.
1. Appreciation. When we appreciate someone, we are thankful for or show gratitude toward them. To be appreciative to another individual means we let them know they are valued in a significant way in our life. We tell someone that we are aware of their importance in our life. The famed Julie Brilliart, founder of the Institute of Notre Dame describes the quality of appreciation, when shown to our heavenly Father in this light: “God loves those who appreciate the value of His gifts.” As we watch Jesus’ disciples bow in worshipful adoration in that small boat on Galilee, it isn’t difficult to imagine their appreciation for His gifts was palpable, for they had had a glimpse of the greatness of the glory of God.
2. Adoration. The word adoration means to worship. But there’s more to adoration than just a generalized form of worship. When I choose to adore someone, I give them my unconditional love. But what’s more, I also give them reverence – respect. I love the definition Evelyn Underhill gives to the word adoration for she calls it, “an attitude of the soul.” She then continues by describing adoration in this way: “The adoration to which you are avowed is not an affair of red hassocks and authorized hymn books, but a burning and consuming fire.” I liken this to a heart-felt passion that longs for nothing more than to uplift our Father’s name.
3. Affection. To be affected by something or someone is to bring about a change or to influence another. Thus an affection for God is developed in our lives by the transforming change He brings within us as we spend time absorbing His life into our own – through communion in prayer and the study of His Word. As one author portrays the way we direct affection to God, it is an emotional response which shows love to God “for His sake alone.”
4. Subjection. If ever there is a word in Scripture which has too frequently been misinterpreted it is the word “subjection.” Interestingly in the Greek this word means “arrange in an orderly manner, submitting one’s self to obedience to or listening to another.” Having recognized that first of all “subjection” to our Father’s Will and Way is the goal of every follower, when our longing and desire is to bring glory to our Father, we will want to follow Him, just as the disciples in their lives made the choice to follow Jesus’ calling no matter where the path led. They subjected their lives to their Father’s Will.
I like the way William Temple sheds a beam of light on the worship evidenced on Galilee’s boat so long ago as he lays out the reasons which call all of us to worship today:
“To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, and to drive the will to the purpose of God.”
Iwan Russel-Jones, commenting on Matthew 14: 33 offers this broader view into this sliver of time in Jesus’ life. In defining the worshipful spirit evidenced by Jesus in the boat, surrounded by those closest to Him, Russel-Jones notes: “There is no doubt that more is hinted at in this passage…even before the resurrection, the disciples catch a glimpse of Jesus’ unique relationship with God.” This truth is at the heart of all true worship, as Peter Ball penned, “There is only one perfect act of worship ever offered and that was the life of Jesus Christ Himself. From His conception to His ascension, He ever offers that life to the Father as the perfect act of worship in Heaven, and when we worship all we do is join Him.”
“I worship Thee, sweet will of God!
And all Thy ways adore;
And every day I live, I long
To love Thee more and more.”
Frederick W. Faber
Lift Up Your Hearts!
“(Lift up your hearts!) We lift them, Lord, to Thee;
Here at Thy feet none other may we see;
(Lift up your hearts!) E’en, so, with one accord,
We lift them up, we lift them to the Lord.
Above the level of the former years,
The mire of sin, the slough of guilty fears,
The mist of doubt, the blight of love’s decay,
O Lord of Light, lift up our hearts to-day.
Above the swamps of subterfuge and shame,
The deeds, the thoughts that honour may not name,
The halting tongue that dares not tell the whole,
O Lord of Truth, lift every soul!
Above the storms that vex this lower state,
Pride, jealousy, and envy, rage, and hate,
And cold mistrust, that holds even friends apart,
O Lord of Love, lift every person’s heart.
Then, as the trumpet call, in after years,
(Lift up your hearts!) rings pealing in our ears,
Still shall those hearts respond, with full accord,
(We lift them up, we lift them to the Lord!)”
Henry Montague Butler
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. Just to let you know, Transformation Garden is now on FACEBOOK. Please come and see us and share the garden with your friends. The Daily Devotional is posted everyday, Monday through Friday on Facebook, too.
My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, and www.Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You may also call Transformation Garden at 480-281-1508.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.